Eco House

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Planet Wise

John

Theological space

In this space, extracts from writings by theologians on environmental matters are offered for you to look at and think about. You can then either: find the book or text and read more, discuss the extract in a group, or use the questions to frame a discussion about the theme or idea in the extract. The extracts come from Dave Bookless of A Rocha; the Ecumenical Patriarch speaking at a Religion, Science and Environment symposium on the Arctic; Claire Foster: Sharing God's Planet.

John

Dave Bookless

In the past, many Christians have seen our God-given mission as, in essence, rescuing dying people from a doomed planet as this world runs out of control like a runaway train. Jesus has provided an escape plan, the church, a bit like a railway carriage that is going to be uncoupled and taken to safety when the rest of the train heads over the cliff to destruction. Mission therefore is a race against time to get people into the right carriage before it is too late.

The Bible's radical message is that God's mission is far bigger and far more exciting than this. Although the train, the world, and everybody on it, are indeed running out of control towards destruction, there is still hope. God's rescue mission is not for a few passengers only, but for the train itself. To return to biblical language, it is not only people whom God made, loves and cares for and brought back into relationship with himself through Jesus, but the whole of creation.

Our task as human beings is to bring the good news of Jesus to all of creation in both word and deed. This is not about our mission to save people like us. It is God's mission of good news for the whole created order. The biblical evidence is that mission is wider than we've often allowed. Humans may be the key agents of mission in the new creation that Jesus has begun, but we are not the only objects of mission. Mission is ultimately not only about people but about the renewal of all things in Christ. The transformation of individuals by the good news of the gospel still is, and always will be, central, but the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ is also good news for every creature.

This extract is from Planetwise pages 136-137, published by Inter-Varsity Press, used by permission. For more information go to the Inter-Varsity Press website

Some questions

  • How does Dave's idea of mission relate to your own views on mission?
  • What evidence do we have that God is redeeming the whole creation?
  • What do you think 'good news for every creature' would look like?
Continue: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 1
© CTBI and MTAG 2012

Navigating the pathways

You have a number of pathways through the various spaces of this house:

You can mix and match your journey through the different spaces depending on what you would most like to explore, study or do.

Yellow Blue Green Pink

Welcome

Opening challenge to learn more about mission and care for creation with some introductory material to think about.

Scripture passages with questions

  • Genesis 1. 26-31
  • Romans 8.18-21
  • Genesis 6.11-21
Also:
  • Earth Abbey resources
  • Jubilee Centre resources

Images

Pictures of extinct and endangered animals; conservation issues

Gift-giving and baggage dumping

A chance to review what gifts you bring to the topic or what things to leave behind. A chance for confession or saying sorry and to make new commitments

Quote, unquote

What people have been saying about climate change and care for the planet. With questions to consider.

Prayers

A series of prayers, images and activities for meditation on the words of the fifth mark of mission
Also links to other prayer resources

Resources

Books and online resources for self study and online research

Diary/blog

A chance to review notes or entries you have made and to read others thoughts about the topic

Theology

Theologians writing on care for creation: Dave Bookless, The Ecumenical Patriarch and Claire Foster. With questions to consider.

Hymns and other music

Suggestions for listening to natural sounds, hymns, psalms, Taizé chants, classical, popular music and new music on the theme of care of creation

Films, Music

Films to watch, music tracks and clips with an ecological theme

Footsteps of Jesus

  • Consider the lilies Matthew 6. 25-34
  • The Storm
  • Matthew 8.23-27
  • The Fig Tree
  • Mark 11.12-14; 20-21

Conversation and Dialogue

Listening to people talking about the environment, including: a group of theologians and scientists talking to ARocha, Jeremy Clarkson and David Shreeve.

Reflections and Story telling

  • Can the earth sustain 7 billion people?
  • What about food security for people?
  • What about health?
  • Reflections from Sharing God's Planet
Reflections from Sharing God's Planet

Hospitality

A recipe for a meal and suggestions for hospitality, trying new things

Exit: Dispossession

Final review of what may have changed in using the resource. A few ideas about what to take away, or how to live differently, or to do more in future, and a chance to leave feedback
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